UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Abu Dhabi and Dubai are the two biggest cities and commercial hubs. The seven independent emirates of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah came together to form the United Arab Emirates (UAE) between the years of 1971 and 1972.
The UAE is located on the Eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, in the South West corner of the Arabian Gulf.
The UAE is home to a little less than 5 million residents from over 200 countries.
Currency: Arab Emirate Dirham (AED); 1 USD$ = 3.65 AED
Official language: Arabic, but also widely spoken are Persian, Malayalam, English, Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, and Tagalog
Time zone: Dubai Standard Time (UTC+4)
Dialling Code: +971
Internet top-level domain (TLD): .ae
Emergency services: 999
Days of sunshine per year: 365
Average temperatures: December-March 24ºC; March-November 35 ºC
Religions: 96% Muslim, Hindu, Christian, 4% other
It’s probably safer than your home city:
Despite unrest in the region, the UAE is the second safest country in the world, according to the World Economic Forum. Dubai is very safe compared with other large cities across the globe, and street crime is rare. It’s safe to take taxis at night, and walking around on your own is fine in most areas. The biggest dangers are reckless driving and crossing the street, with many motorists ignoring pedestrian crossings.
The UAE has a sub-tropical, arid climate. Rainfall is infrequent and irregular. Falling mainly in winter, it amounts to some 13 centimetres a year. Temperatures range from a low of about 10 degrees celsius to a high of 48 degrees celsius. The mean daily maximum is 24 degrees in January rising to 41 degrees in July.
Regarding Spain: +3 hours
Regarding Argentina: +7 hours
Regarding Mexico: +10 hours
Regarding Brazil: +6 hours
In June 2001 Emirates airline designated a special handling area at departures and arrivals for passengers with special needs. As a result, wheelchair passengers will receive a more personalized service.
Dress Code :
Dubai is a cosmopolitan city, with expats making up almost 85% of the population. There’s no need to cover your hair; shorts and t-shirts are fine in many places, and you can wear a bikini at the beach or by the pool. It’s a glamorous city too, so dress to impress at brunch and out clubbing. In the malls, mosques and souqs, you should respect local Islamic culture by dressing modestly, which means shoulders and knees covered.
Tips are testimony of our satisfaction with a service. It has become a widespread habit. Hotels and restaurants include a 10% and we suggest to give 10%.
It is also recommend to give 10 % in taxis. Please ask our staff at the destination in order to know the local customs.
Actually this is one thing to leave until you get here. Rates at money exchanges are very competitive and the head cashier often has some leeway so ask for ‘your best rate’ if you are converting a reasonable amount. Al Ansari is a major chain but there are branches in most shopping malls and throughout the city.
Government offices open at 7.30 a.m. and close at 3.00 p.m. but you would be wise to visit in the morning. Private offices tend to keep longer hours, coming back to work in the evening after an extended mid-day break. Some private businesses open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. All government offices close for the weekend at mid-day on Thursday and do not open again until Saturday morning. Some offices outside the public sector are open on Thursday and close on Friday and Saturday.
Opening hours and holidays:
Normal shopping hours are from 9.00 a.m. - 1 p.m. and 4.00 - 9.00 p.m. however many shops, particularly in Dubai and Abu Dhabi stay open all day. Most shopping centres open from 10 a.m to 10 p.m - frequently later. Some supermarkets are open for 24 hours. Although shops and shopping centres are fully air conditioned, the cool of the evening is a favourite time for shopping. Shopping centres and most shops are open on Friday, the Islamic day of rest, but they all close for Juma (Friday) prayers from 11.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m.
All shops are required to close at prayer times in Raï's al-Khaimah
Other things to consider
Find out if you need a visa from your country; arrange travel and medical insurance; google car hire companies; check data roaming packages (you can also buy a tourist sim on arrival) ; buy sunscreen, mozzie spray and a hat; bring a universal adapter (the UAE has 3 pin sockets like the UK).
Check what’s going on
Dubai’s social calendar is packed full of events. International artists and bands (here and in nearby Abu Dhabi) are a regular feature and going to a concert in the UAE is (in most cases) a very stress-free and enjoyable experience. Since 2000 we’ve seen scores, ranging from Sting and Robbie to Kasabian, The Stranglers, Black Sabbath and many, many more.
Dubai contains well equipped public and private hospitals.
Remarkably, the UAE was one of only two countries with no reported cases of holiday illnesses recorded in a survey by the leading British consumer magazine, Holiday Which? This is a tribute to the success of government immunization programs, the provision of adequate clean water and high standards of cleanliness in hotels and restaurants.
No special immunizations are required, however it would be wise to check beforehand if you are traveling from a health-risk area. Tetanus inoculations are usually recommended if you are considering a long trip. Polio has been virtually eradicated in the UAE and hepatitis is very rare and can be avoided by taking precautions. Hepatitis A is transmitted by contaminated food and water, Hepatitis B, C, D through sexual contact, the use of unsterilized needles and blood transfusions.
The 7 Emirates are:
Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah , Ajman, Ras Al Khaima, Fujairah & Umm al-Quwain
Don’t drink alcohol in non-designated areas
While alcohol is not part of the Muslim culture, it is widely available in Dubai, given there’s a large number of expatriates and tourists in the emirate. However, consuming alcoholic beverages is only permitted in private locations such as your home, or in public at licensed restaurants, bars and clubs, which are often located within a hotel. Don’t drink and drive under any circumstances. The emirate exercises a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to alcohol.
Don’t carry, consume or sell drugs
While this is good advice in general, it can be even more important due to culture and laws. Drugs are absolutely prohibited in the UAE. Even a very small amount might land in jail. It doesn’t matter if you’re staying or transiting on your way to another airport. Possession could land you in prison for four years, followed by expulsion from the country. Any involvement in the purchase or sale of narcotics is a serious offense punishable by life in prison. Moreover, not all prescription drugs are permissible in the United Arab Emirates, of which Dubai is part, and you might have to conduct some research or seek prior approval from authorities before your trip.
Check your medication
Codeine based medicines and some opiates, which might be legal in your country, are banned. Check online and get a doctor’s note to verify that they are prescribed if in any doubt. Unwitting travellers have been jailed. There is a list of medication banned in the UAE on this website
Don’t eat or drink during Ramadan
Every year, Muslims observe Ramadan, a month of fasting everyday from early hours of the morning until the sun sets. During this holy month, consuming food, drink, cigarettes or playing music at high volumes in public during the day is an offense reprehensible by law. Non-observers need to conduct those activities in the privacy of their homes or in restaurants where eating and drinking is permitted during the day. The evenings, however, are quite festive with many venues offering Iftar, the evening meal which marks breaking the fast.
Don’t insult the rulers
The UAE is a country based on a tribal system and its leaders are seen as highly-respected figures in society. Any criticism or insulting remarks about the country or its leaders is against the law.
Creators Tourism Team
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